Introduction: The Best Management Practice Retrofit Program (BMP Retrofit) in the Lake Tahoe Basin of California and Nevada is intended to improve water quality and reduce or reverse the impacts of urban development on Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is designated as an Outstanding Natural Resource Water by the Environmental Protection Agency. Increasingly, urban runoff contributes a significant proportion of the pollutants that enter our lakes and streams that are defined as ?impaired? under the Clean Water Act. The BMP Retrofit Program requires all property owners to retrofit existing developed properties with BMP?s designed to infiltrate the water generated by a 20 year, one hour (1 inch) design storm event within their property boundaries, according to a timeline based on a priority watershed designation. Single-family residential parcels will be the focus of the work described in this announcement.
The BMP Retrofit Program is delivered to single-family residential property owners in the Lake Tahoe Basin under the Backyard Conservation Program (BCP). The BCP is a national program developed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in cooperation with the National Association of Conservation Districts and the Wildlife Habitat Council. When applied locally, the Backyard Conservation Program is adapted to meet conservation needs identified by the community.
In the Lake Tahoe Basin, which spans portions of five counties in California and Nevada, the most imperative resource concern is water quality and the alarming decline in the clarity of Lake Tahoe. Recent estimations by scientists studying the loss of clarity problem attribute approximately one-third of the sediment and attached nutrients that enter the Lake to direct runoff originating from the intervening urban area. This opinion is collaborated with the declining trend in water clarity paralleling a period of rapid urban development since the 1960?s in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Single-family residential parcels that have been ?hardened? by impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, and rooftops contribute sediment, nutrients, oil and grease to Lake Tahoe at an accelerated rate, impairing water quality. These impervious surfaces also alter the hydrology of the area, by increasing peak flows and accelerating the delivery of water through the drainage system, impacting stream hydrology and geomorphology, as well. A local Ordinance requires that all existing single-family residential properties will be retrofitted with Best Management Practices (BMP?s) designed to infiltrate runoff from a 20 year, one hour (1 inch) storm event, on-site. The 63 sub-watersheds around Lake Tahoe are divided into 3 priorities for retrofitting with BMP?s; completion of the Program is targeted for October, 2008.
Approved Best Management Practices are described in the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency?s Handbook of BMP?s, and by NRCS practice standards, and include paving driveways and parking pads, infiltration trenches and dry wells, adequate vegetation cover, stabilized slopes, and other measures. Other resource concerns that may need to be addressed to deal with water quality issues are irrigation water management and nutrient and pest management.
In the Lake Tahoe Basin, solutions to water quality issues and other local natural resource concerns must be integrated and delivered through the Backyard Conservation Program, where feasible. An example is hazardous fuels reduction, where consideration must include preserving appropriate vegetation cover for erosion control while reducing fuels that may increase wildfire hazards around homes.
Background: Applicants will be responsible for working in conjunction with NRCS to provide technical assistance through the Best Management Practice Retrofit Program to plan and implement conservation practices to assist landowners in meeting the requirements of a local Ordinance in the Lake Tahoe Basin, requiring all water generated from a 20 year, one hour (one inch) design storm be infiltrated, on-site.
NRCS expects to award up to two (2) cooperative agreements based on proposals submitted and benefits derived for the current fiscal year. Funds available for the current calender year are: $285,000 for the Lake Tahoe Basin in Placer and El Dorado Counties in California, and $130,000 for the Lake Tahoe Basin in Washoe, Carson, and Douglas Counties in Nevada. Any agreements resulting from this solicitation will have a one-year base period and three one-year options. Activities under these cooperative agreements will be carried out from approximately May 30, 2005 through December 31, 2005. Applicants must specifically identify either the California or Nevada portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin they are interested in carrying out the work in when submitting their proposal.
Scope of Work: The successful applicant will be responsible for delivering technical assistance to single-family residential private landowners in the Lake Tahoe Basin to complete conservation plans to meet the objectives of the Best Management Practice Retrofit Program in the Lake Tahoe Basin, in compliance with all local and state regulations. Single-family residential properties on the lakeshore of Lake Tahoe are excluded; those properties are handled by others. Design criteria will meet the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Ordinances and NRCS practice specifications.
The work includes outreach efforts to landowners to notify them of the Program and requirements of the Ordinance (materials have been developed and paid for by others), some focused education efforts in neighborhood presentations and workshops, explaining the stormwater runoff problem and BMP Retrofit Program to property owners, scheduling appointments for maximum efficiency, making field visits to perform inventory and evaluation, recording measurements and calculations, analyzing data, prescribing appropriate conservation practices (and alternatives, where feasible), and noting the property owner?s record of decision. All current resource information that is available (soils, geology, parcel maps, designated Stream Environment Zones, etc) will be utilized to generate ?Site Evaluation? plans, e.g. plans that address the BMP Retrofit Program.
Site Evaluations will follow a standard format as provided by NRCS, be maintained on a computer database, be made available to NRCS electronically, and the electronic version will be compatible with Microsoft Access. Copies of the Site Evaluations will also be provided to the property owner. As legal provisions are met, data will be forwarded to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
The Site Evaluation format includes the following components: customer contact information, GIS derived environmental data, technical assistance notes, a Site Map with all pertinent features recorded to analyze stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, a list of recommended treatments, a Site Drawing showing recommended BMP treatments, photos documenting pre-installation of BMP conditions, and calculations used to determine the amount of runoff generated from impervious surfaces. These calculations are used to size recommended practices for BMP Retrofit. A letter to the homeowner is also generated, explaining the recommendations and procedures for completing their project.
All customer contacts and records of technical assistance for BMP Retrofit Plans developed and/or assisting customers with technical aspects of BMP installation provided under this program will be maintained on a computer database and be made available electronically to NRCS, compatible to Microsoft Access. All outreach and education efforts will be documented and names of those contacted kept on file for future reference.
The selected applicants will also, upon request, provide technical assistance to landowners during their implementation of BMP?s to respond to technical questions they may have during installation. The selected applicant may be called to perform a final check on BMP installation and recommend to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency the release of a ?Certificate of Completion? to the landowner. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency retains authority to accept the BMP installation and release the ?Certificate of Completion? to the landowner.
Other technical assistance products that will be delivered as necessary include irrigation water management, and nutrient and pest management; these practices are described in the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide and materials have been developed to explain these management practices to homeowners.
The primary NRCS conservation practices used in the Lake Tahoe Basin are roof runoff management, access road, subsurface drain, vertical drain, cut bank stabilization, rock barrier, underground outlet, structure for water control, filter strip, grassed waterway, critical area planting, direct seeding, waterspreading, mulching, water harvesting catchment, irrigation water management, nutrient management, and pest management.
An education and outreach program, commensurate with the number of property owners targeted for delivery of the Best Management Practice Retrofit Program, will be developed by the applicant and approved by NRCS. The applicant will also carry out the education and outreach program, as scheduled. This component may include workshops and other public events, as well as mailing outreach brochures. Most brochures and similar materials under this component are prepared and paid for by others.
The successful applicant will participate in interagency meetings as needed to coordinate delivery of the Best Management Practice Retrofit Program in local communities. The successful applicant will coordinate with realtors, local jurisdictions, and other agencies in order to deliver the BMP Retrofit Program.
For the initial agreement(s), a minimum of 750 BMP Retrofit Plans for technical assistance (or customer assists with installation of BMP?s) will be documented on the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin, and a minimum of 350 BMP Retrofit Plans for technical assistance (or customer assists with installation of BMP?s) will be documented on the Nevada portion of the Basin. Five percent (5%) of the plans for technical assistance will be selected by the local NRCS office for technical review. At least 90% of the plans submitted will meet NRCS standards and specifications and other policies (Conservation Planning and the e-FOTG (Field Office Tech Guide) at www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov ). Inability to meet the criteria will result in non-payment until performance is demonstrated. Outreach and education products will be finalized in the ?Outreach and Education Program? component, however an average of 15,000 outreach contacts may be needed per year on the California side of the Basin; another 2,000 outreach contacts may be needed per year on the Nevada side of the Basin. For California, targeted workshops and public events average a minimum of 10 events per year and for Nevada, these targeted workshops and public events average a minimum of 8 per year. Interagency coordination meetings average 12 hours per month for each state.
Funding provided to the applicants includes an amount sufficient to purchase 2 sets of computer hardware (one set for the California side and one set for the Nevada side of the Lake Tahoe Basin) that is compatible with new technology and a new database from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The hardware includes Viewsonic convertible tablet PC (V1250 or equivalent) and accessories, and the applicant will retain ownership of the equipment, after purchase. The applicant must be able to employ the equipment for field testing of the products to increase the efficiency of producing BMP Retrofit Plans, and must be able to coordinate with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency throughout the field testing period, in 2005.
All services provided in conservation planning, conservation practice application, and other technical assistance must meet USDA-NRCS standards and specifications as set forth in the NRCS regulations. The selected applicant shall report to NRCS the appropriate data elements associated with the technical services provided to private landowners through the quarterly reports, so that the data can be entered into the conservation accomplishments tracking system. These reportable elements include estimates of soil erosion that will be controlled by the prescribed practices, and the estimated amount of cubic feet of water that will be infiltrated by these practices, when installed. These estimates on soil loss reduced and water infiltrated will be presented on a County basis. Quarterly reports will be submitted to NRCS, addressing all required elements, and a Final Report at the completion of the Agreement will be submitted to NRCS documenting all accomplishments. Quarterly reporting requirements will include a database of landowners assisted, including names, addresses, APN?s and type of assistance provided (planning or implementation assistance with BMP?s). Quarterly reports will be due on the 15th of March, June, September, and December.
NRCS anticipates being substantially involved in carrying out the work covered by this cooperative agreement. NRCS involvement will include Quality Assurance procedures to insure consistency, technical staff resources, and possible Delegation of Authority based on individual performance documentation. NRCS will also provide a representative to participate in the planning and management of the cooperative agreement and coordinate activities. NRCS will provide oversight and as necessary, agency software, forms, and other resource information.
Evaluation Criteria ? Listed in Descending Order of Importance
1. Background and Experience. Ability to demonstrate past history and credibility in conducting evaluations of single-family residential parcels for water quality objectives related to reducing urban stormwater runoff. Demonstrate an ability to meet timeframes on deliverables.
2. Organizational Capabilities ? the adequacy of organizational resources and experience to successfully manage and perform the project. This includes recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising staff that completes the tasks in a professional manner and reflects a positive impression on both the Best Management Practice Retrofit Program and on NRCS. Demonstrate the ability to achieve financial management, records management, and report accomplishments. Demonstrate the ability to provide the necessary supplies, equipment and other support to compete the tasks.
3. Knowledge and applied use of Best Management Practices used in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and of the corresponding NRCS practice standards and specifications related to those BMP?s.
4. Knowledge of local and State ordinances and regulations related to implementing BMP?s in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and experience in working with local, State, and federal agencies in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
5. Price and price-related factors.
Each proposal will be evaluated and ranked in accordance with the evaluation factors listed above. Discussions may be held with each applicant regarding the applicant?s experience, the proposed plan of action or alternative courses of action. After selection, NRCS will enter into negotiations with the selected applicant to discuss cost and the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement to be signed.
Who can apply:
City Or Township Governments
Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments
Non-Government - General
Nonprofits Having A 501(C)(3) Status With The IRS, Other Than Institutions Of Higher Education
Nonprofits That Do Not Have A 501(C)(3) Status With The IRS, Other Than Institutions Of Higher Education
Private Institutions Of Higher Education
Private Nonprofit Institution/Organization (Includes Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals)
Public And State Controlled Institutions Of Higher Education
Quasi-Public Nonprofit Institution/Organization
Small Business (Less Than 500 Employees
Special District Governments
Specialized Group (Health Professional, Student, Veteran)
State (Includes District Of Columbia; Includes Institutions Of Higher Education And Hospitals)
U.S. Territories And Possessions (Includes Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals)
Eligible functional categories:
Soil and Water Conservation
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, California State Office